Privacy & Social Media

Confidentiality & Privacy Policy

The law protects the relationship between a client and a substance abuse counselor, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.

Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse, for which I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to us by law in order to ensure their safety.

 

My Social Media Policy

This outlines my policies related to use of Social Media. Please read it to understand how I conduct myself on the Internet as a substance abuse counselor and how you can expect me to respond to various interactions that may occur between us on the Internet.

If you have any questions about anything within this document, I encourage you to bring them up with me when we meet. As new technology develops and the Internet changes, there may be times when I will need to update this policy.

FRIENDING

I do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc). I believe that adding clients as friends or contacts on these sites can compromise your confidentiality and our respective privacy. It may also blur the boundaries of our therapeutic relationship. If you have questions about this, please bring them up when we meet and we can talk more about it.

INTERACTING

Please do not use SMS (mobile phone text messaging) or messaging on Social Networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Goolge+ or LinkedIn etc. to contact me. These sites are not secure and I may not read these messages in a timely fashion. Do not use Wall postings, @replies, or other means of engaging with me in public online if we have an already established client/counselor relationship.

Engaging with me this way could compromise your confidentiality. It may also create the possibility that these exchanges become a part of your legal medical record and will need to be documented and archived in your chart. If you need to contact me between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone at (760) 913-7283. Direct email at Jason@allisonaddictioncounselng.com is second best for quick, administrative issues such as changing appointment times. See the email section below for more information regarding email interactions.

USE OF SEARCH ENGINES

It is NOT a regular part of my practice to search for clients on Google or Facebook or other search engines. Extremely rare exceptions may be made during times of crisis. If I have a reason to suspect that you are in danger and you have not been in touch with me via our usual means (coming to appointments, phone, or email) there might be an instance in which using a search engine (to find you, find someone close to you, or to check on your recent status updates) becomes necessary as part of ensuring your welfare. These are unusual situations and if I ever resort to such means, I will fully document it and discuss it with you when we next meet.

BUSINESS REVIEW SITES

You may find Allison Addiction Counseling on sites such as Yelp, Healthgrades, Yahoo Local, Bing, or other places which list businesses. Some of these sites include forums in which users rate their providers and add reviews. Many of these sites comb search engines for business listings and automatically add listings regardless of whether the business has added itself to the site. If you should find my listing on any of these sites, please know that my listing is NOT a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as my client.

Of course, you have a right to express yourself on any site you wish. But due to confidentiality, I cannot respond to any review on any of these sites whether it is positive or negative.  I urge you to take your own privacy as seriously as I take my commitment of confidentiality to you. You should also be aware that if you are using these sites to communicate indirectly with me about your feelings about my work, there is a good possibility that I may never see it.

If we are working together, I hope that you will bring your feelings and reactions to my work directly into the counseling process. This can be an important part of counseling, even if you decide I am not a good fit. None of this is meant to keep you from sharing that you are in counseling with me wherever and with whomever you like. Confidentiality means that I cannot tell people that you are my client and my Ethics Code prohibits me from requesting testimonials. You are more than welcome to tell anyone you wish that I am your counselor or how you feel about the services I provided to you, in any forum of your choosing.

If you do choose to write something on a business review site, I hope you will keep in mind that you may be sharing personally revealing information in a public forum. I urge you to create a pseudonym that is not linked to your regular email address or friend networks for your own privacy and protection.

LOCATION-BASED SERVICES

If you used location-based services on your mobile phone, you may wish to be aware of the privacy issues related to using these services, do not place Allison Addiction Counseling as a check-in location on various sites such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, etc. However, if you have GPS tracking enabled on your device, it is possible that others may surmise that you are a counseling client due to regular check-ins at my offices on a weekly basis. Please be aware of this risk if you are intentionally “checking in,” from my offices or if you have a passive LBS app enabled on your phone.

EMAIL

I prefer using email only to arrange or modify appointments. Please do not email me content related to your counseling sessions, as email is not completely secure or confidential. If you choose to communicate with me by email, be aware that all emails are retained in the logs of your and my Internet service providers. While it is unlikely that someone will be looking at these logs, they are, in theory, available to be read by the system administrator(s) of the Internet service provider.

You should also know that any emails I receive from you and any responses that I send to you become a part of your legal record.

CONCLUSION

Thank you for taking the time to review my Social Media Policy. If you have questions or concerns about any of these policies and procedures or regarding our potential interactions on the Internet, do bring them to my attention so that we can discuss them.